Shake Up Your Events with Live Performances

How Events Come Alive

Picture this: It’s your company’s annual conference, and you’ve packed the venue’s biggest space. Everyone has just finished dinner, and all eyes are on the massive screen at the front of the room. Music legend Bob Dylan addresses the group from his Malibu home, playing a private concert for your event.

Better yet, imagine Dylan is performing live. Your guests sit mere feet from one of the greatest musicians of our time. The excitement is palpable as people sway to his guitar and sing along to “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

Which of these experiences do you think is going to have more of an impact?

Video vs. Live Performances

Video can serve as a fantastic storytelling component at corporate events, but it’s not a substitute for live performances. People love the thrill of being close to celebrities in the flesh. Even if the video experience has been created specifically for them, screens put them at a distance.

Live performances are also a selling point for getting audiences in the door. Why else do you think more and more businesses are enlisting celebrities for their annual conferences?

Celebrity Guest Nick Cannon

Of course, not every organization can afford to bring in Hollywood A-listers. Integrate live performances that make sense given your budget and the tone of the event. You can spice up a trade show with some talented rock performers or help people wind down with a tasteful jazz interlude.

You can also charm them with unexpected touches throughout the day. In one section of the Jurassic Park area at Universal Studios in Orlando, a “live” dinosaur jumps out and takes photos with guests. People are charmed by this live element, and it’s a highlight of their visit.

Even if escaped dinosaurs fall outside your purview, brainstorm how you can weave your narrative through live experiences. Incorporating varied entertainment and speakers in your lineup can signal that your company focuses on more than marketing: It’s stoking broader conversations about creating good in the world. Yes, speakers have star power, but they’re also advocates for change, and you can link your brand to bigger movements by inviting them to your conference.

In addition to their storytelling benefits, live appearances take events from run-of-the-mill to outstanding in the following ways:


1. They create the element of surprise. 

If you can keep your big performance or celebrity cameo under wraps until showtime, you’ll delight guests when you announce the special twist. Tease audiences by hinting at something big — but don’t give it away. Revealing a cool performance, speech, or meet-and-greet electrifies an event because it shakes up people’s expectations.


2. They generate lasting impacts and create great selfie moments. 

A great live component sticks with attendees long after they’ve gone back to their normal lives. Your event will become part of their social media stories. They’ll associate your brand with quality and excitement, and they’ll likely call on you when they’re in need of the services you offer. If you’re in a saturated industry, top-notch events really help you stand out. The types of performers you present solidifies your brand story in people’s minds.


3. They establish recurring attendance. 

Interesting speakers and performances keep people wanting more. Unique entertainers will inspire people to return next year and bring their friends. Your organization can earn serious buzz if you build in the right live experiences.

Live Singing Performance

Get creative when brainstorming which live performances will enhance your event. After focusing on business all day, people will appreciate the opportunity to switch gears and connect with one another as they watch a great live performance that surprises and delights. Video is a powerful tool for presenting information and telling stories. But when it comes to delivering a distinctive experience and illustrating who you are, there’s no substitute for engaging live entertainment.

To learn about how we can help you create epic live events, check out our events page here.

Download the Essential Event Planning Guide

Previous Article
Why It Might Be Time to Revise Your Registration Pricing Strategy
Why It Might Be Time to Revise Your Registration Pricing Strategy

David Saef, GES’ EVP of Strategy and MarketWorks, recently sat down with PCMA ’s David McMillan to talk a...

Next Article
Managing your next event crisis
Managing your next event crisis

No matter how organised you are or how much blood, sweat and tears you put into an event, there’s always a...